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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications

Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)

Experimental and analytical study on flexural behaviour


of concrete filled GFRP Box Beams
K.Vinayaki
Department of civil engineering
Mepco Schlenk Engineering college

R.Theenathayalan
Department of civil engineering
Mepco Schlenk Engineering college

Sivakasi 626005

Sivakasi 626005

Abstract: This paper deals with the experimental study on the variation in the load carrying capacity between concrete filled GFRP
box beams of size 1200x150x200 mm is predicted by varying thickness of GFRP box beams as 4mm, 6mm and the concrete strength
as M40. The material properties of cement, fine aggregate and coarse aggregate would be found out. The compressive strength of
concrete cube would be found out to confirm the strength grade 40. Study results showed that in addition to many advantages due to
its formation, the Box Beam showed superior physical and mechanical properties. It was found that the flexural strength and fracture
toughness values of Composite beams significantly increased stiffness when compared to reference values. Flexural two point load
would be applied on the box beams filled with plain concrete. The experimental test was performed to find the flexural strength, load
carrying capacity, deflection, load deflection relationship, load strain relationship and stiffness ratio for various thickness of box
beams. The analytical Study was performed by using ANSYS to evaluate the deformation of the specimen. The experimental study of
beams showed that the box beam having higher thickness will increase the load carrying capacity and stiffness and also decrease the
deflection. In ANSYS by varying both thickness of GFRP box as well as grade of concrete is analysed. The proposed finite element
model shows increased resistance to deformation when concrete is used as infill material and the deformation decreases when the
grade of concrete and thickness of box beam increases.
Keywords: Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), Box Beams, Flexural Strength, Stiffness.

1. INTRODUCTION
The needs and demands of humans in the field of
material technologies increase each day in parallel to the
problems experienced in materials. Researchers investigate
new material types and applications and try to produce new
designs to decrease these problems and to satisfy these
demands .In recent years, many researchers have concentrated
on composite materials, which can be considered as a
derivative of these materials. Composite materials have
required properties and are preferred in a wide variety of
fields including the construction sector. In addition to their
high resistance and good performance towards environmental
factors, these materials are preferred since they have all the
properties desired by the researchers and they can be
produced in different combinations. In addition to their
superior mechanical resistance, these new generation
composite materials draw the attention of researchers due to
the properties such as their lightweight structure, corrosion
resistance and high resistance to chemicals, electric insulation,
low density and high resistance/density ratio.
Concrete-filled glass fiberreinforced polymer
(GFRP) box beams represent an efficient structural building
element having several advantages over conventional
reinforced concrete elements. The GFRP Box acts as stay-inplace formwork, greatly reducing construction cost and time
as well as serving as external reinforcement eliminating the
need for internal steel reinforcement. In addition, the GFRP
Box provides concrete confinement as well as increased
resistance to degradation in corrosive environments. Although
many studies have been performed for circular concrete-filled
GFRP members in both axial and flexural applications, much
less attention has been given to rectangular sections. The
studies shows that a closed hollow rectangular GFRP section
with webs extending above the compression flange providing
formwork for a concrete compression flange.
The

investigated rectangular filament wound concrete filled tubes


with combined axial and flexural loading, studied T-beams
constructed of concrete filled rectangular GFRP pultruded
beams with concrete slabs attached with shear studs.
GFRP composites are generally used in curtain wall
systems, pedestrian and vehicle bridges, soil improvements,
pipes, repair and reinforcement works in the construction
industry. The construction sector constitutes a significant part
of the GFRP composite market, followed by the automotive
sector. However, since these materials are not yet well
recognized by users and designers, they are not considered as
a replacement for other materials. It is estimated that GFRP
composites can be a good solution in a significant part of
available applications. Recently, the use of composite
materials has rapidly increased and it is gradually developing
in many technical fields including the construction sector. In
this development process, the construction industry is
constantly working to develop new construction technology to
design and obtain more economical solutions. These new
generation composites, which are generally preferred in
secondary constructions, which are not considered as bearing
elements in the construction sector, are today also used as
bearing elements, as main construction elements. Particularly
after the increase of the serial production of GFRP
composites, they began to be used more effectively in
buildings for different purposes. The use of Glass fiber
reinforced composites, which are lightweight and have a high
resistance, in corrosion, repair and improvement works has
increased.
Reinforcement and improvement works involving
the wrapping of GFRP laminates on the bottom surfaces of
beams and GFRP fabrics on all surfaces of columns are the
most widely known applications of these types of composites
with concrete. Like in various study units, the most recent

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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications


Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)
research and development studies have concentrated on
hybrid systems where conventional construction materials
particularly such as concrete and composite materials are used
in combination. Recently much of the research has focused on
hybrid GFRP columns formed by concrete-filled or hollow
GFRP pipes. The tendency in scientific studies clearly shows
that in the near future, the use of GFRP composites in new
buildings will mainly concentrate on the use of box structure.
Many studies have shown that the use of GFRP composites
with conventional materials like concrete were one of the
solutions to eliminate certain deficiencies and disadvantages
in construction elements. The first studies on hybrid designs,
where GFRP profiles and concrete were used in combination,
began. In the first studies, positive results were obtained by
using concrete to increase rigidity and compressive strength
inside GFRP profile.
The idea of using GFRP - Concrete box system as a
flexural element it were reported that the GFRP profile used
in the formed system offered advantages in formwork,
lightweight structure and resistance and could yield more
than50% lightweight structure when compared to
conventional plate systems.
They formed permanent
formwork by using concrete in a T-section GFRP profile and
increased material resistance. In previous studies on hybrid
systems which were formed by filling concrete inside the
GFRP profile; the behavior of a box beam system under
uniaxial load flexural behavior were again analyzed. Various
studies were conducted on the long term creep and shrinkage
effects of box beams, on behaviors under repetitive loads, on
the effects on impact loads , on shear behavior and material
fatigue and on frost-thaw effects.

2. MATERIAL USED
Cement: Ordinary Portland cement of 53 grade confirming to
IS 8112 1989 and specific gravity of 3.15 is used.
Sl.No

Tests

Results

Specific gravity

3.15

Initial setting time

80 minutes

Final setting time

453 minutes

28days compressive
strength

Sl.N
o

Tests

Results

Specific gravity

2.72

Fineness modulus

2.67

Bulk density

1806 kg/m3

Water absorption

1.1%

Table 3 Properties of coarse aggregate


Super plasticizer : Conplast SP 430 is based on sulphonated
Naphthalene Polymer and supplied as brown liquid instantly
dispersible in water, having specific gravity of 1.220 to 1.225
@ 300C
MIX PROPORTION
Design of concrete mixes involves determination of the
proportions of the given constituents namely, cement, Water,
Coarse aggregate and fine aggregate with admixtures if any.
Workability is specified as the important property of concrete
in the fresh state. For hardened state compressive strength and
durability will be considered. According to IS 1343 2009
mix ratio for M40 grade is 1 : 2.56 : 3.26 : 0.4
GFRP BOX
In this paper GFRP BOX of various thickness such as 4mm
and 6mm is used for concrete filling. The GFRP BOX acts as
stay in-place formwork, greatly reducing construction cost
and time as well as serving as external reinforcement
eliminating the need for internal steel reinforcement. GFRP
BOX provides concrete confinement as well as increased
resistance to degradation in corrosive environments. The boxbeams made of the fiber-reinforced composite materials are
used extensively in many engineering applications because of
their good mechanical properties, such as high strength.
Density, Kg/m3

1960

Ea Gpa

505

EbGpa

9.9

45.33/mm

Table 1 Properties of cement


Fine aggregate: Locally available Natural River sand of
specific gravity 2.6 and size below 4.75 mm confirming to
zone II of IS 383 1970 is used. Its fineness modulus and
bulk density are 2.67 and 1415 kg/m3

Prba

0.063

GabGpa

3.7

GbcGpa

1.4

Sl.N
o

Tests

Results

GcaGpa

1.4

Specific gravity

2.67

Xc,Gpa

2.277

Fineness modulus

2.67

Xt,Gpa

1.265

Water absorption

0.6%

Yc,Gpa

0.065

Yt,Gpa

0.05

Table 2 Properties of fine aggregate


Coarse aggregate: Crushed stone of size less than 20mm
with specific gravity of 2.66 and bulk density of 1415 kg/m3
is used

Table 4 Material properties of GFRP

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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications


Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)
3. SPECIMEN DETAILS
A box beam of length 1200mm and width 150 mm having
depth 200 mm is casted for varying thickness of GFRP Box as
4mm and 6mm respectively. The concrete of grade M40 is
filled inside the box beam. The Box itself acts as a external
reinforcement so there is no need for any internal
reinforcement. Four specimens are casted for various
thickness.

Table 5 Test results


Load Deflection relationship
The deformation and load carrying capacity of GFRP box for
Fig 3 Load Vs Deflection curve
Fig 1 Beam specification details

4. EXPERIMENTAL STUDY
The beam were simply supported over an effective
span of 1000mm and the loads were applied vertically as two
point static loading ,at the middle third position of the beam,
vertical displacement and strains were monitored throughout
the test. The displacements were measured at mid-span using
LVDT and strain was measured by a DEMEC (detachable
mechanical gauge) with gauge points. The beams were loaded
using hydraulic jack. The load was measured by means of
load cell. The load was applied at an increment of 10 KN, for
each load interval the deflections were measured. The 50T
capacity testing frame was used for testing of beams.
various thickness is found experimentally. The load carrying
capacity increases with increase in thickness of GFRP box
and the deflection gets decreases with increase in thickness.
So the deflection level considerably less for higher thickness
and the load carrying capacity will be higher for increased
thickness.
LOAD STRAIN BEHAVIOUR
Fig 4 compares the load strain relationships for various
beam specimen. It is seen that the GFRP box having higher
thickness withstand more strain compared to box beam having
minimum thickness with increasing load.
Fig 4 Load vs Strain Curve

FIG 2 EXPERIMENTAL TEST SETUP

5. EXPERIMENTAL TEST RESULT


The following are the result obtained during experiment. The
result are as follows :

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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications


Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)
LOAD STIFFNESS RELATIONSHIP

5. ANALYTICAL STUDY

As the thickness increases the stiffness also increases. The


specimen 4 showed high stiffness compared to specimen 1

ANSYS is a general purpose finite element analysis (FEA)


Software Package. Finite element analysis is a numerical
method of deconstructing a complex system into very small
pieces (of user-designated size) called elements. The software
implements equations that govern the behavior of these
elements and solves them all; creating a comprehensive
explanation of how the system acts as a whole. These results
then can be presented in tabulated or graphical forms. This
type of analysis is typically used for the design and
optimization of a system far too complex to analyze by hand.
Systems that may fit into this category are too complex due to
their geometry, scale or governing equations.

Fig 5 Load vs Stiffness curve

FINITE ELEMENT MODELLING


The ultimate purpose of this finite element modelling is to
recreate mathematically the behaviour of structures and
components. It is also used for obtaining the deflections
occurred in any structure under any loading conditions. The
results obtained can then be compared with the Experimental
values.
Fig 6 STIFFNESS RATIO
PRE-PROCESSING

FAILURE PATTERN
Fig 7 Deformed Shape of box beam

Define the element type, Real constants, Material models of


the concrete model.
Element type
SOLID 65 allows the presence of four different materials
within each element, one matrix material (e.g
concrete).Concrete material is capable of directional
integration point cracking and crushing besides incorporating
plastic and creep behaviour. Shell 181 is used for concrete
filled box beam. Concrete material is assumed to be initially
isotropic. GFRP material having orthotropic nature. Element
is defined by eight nodes having three degrees of freedom at
each node: translations in the nodal x-,y-,and z- directions.
Special features of SOLID 65 are : Plasticity, Creep,
Cracking, Crushing, Large deflection and Large Strain.
Real constants
Real Constant Set 1 is used for the Solid 65 element. Real
constant set 2 is used for the shell element for that the
thickness of box such as 3mm,4mm,5mm and 6mm.
Material model
Two material models were given : material 1 for concrete and
material 2 for box element, under linear isotropic and
orthotropic material definition.
Table 6 Details of specimen

Fig 8 Crushed infilled concrete at ultimate load

Modelling
The model was created using key points, lines. Then
it is extruded to get the volume. The length of the beam is
taken as 1200 mm. No additional reinforcement is used in the
sections.

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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications


Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)
Fig 13 Deformed + Undeformed Solution

Fi
g 9 Box Beam model
Meshing
For Solid 65 element the mesh was set up such that square or
rectangular elements were created. The beam was meshed by
both line and volume mesh.

Fig 14 Nodal Solution

Fig 15 Vector Solution


Fig 10 Box Beam after meshing
Boundary conditions and loads
Displacement boundary conditions are needed to
constrain the model to get a unique solution .To ensure that
the model acts the same way as the experimental beam,
boundary conditions need to be applied at points of symmetry
and where the supports and loadings exist.

Fig 16 Von Mises Stresses

Fig 11 Two point loading acting in Beam


Post Processing

Fig 12 Displacement of beam

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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications


Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)
Fig 17 Nodal Solution of the beam

6. RESULTS & DISCUSSION


The load versus deflection behavior of typical concrete filled
GFRP Box beam sections is given in Figures 21 and
22,respectively. It can be seen that the total deformation at
any given load for all concrete filled sections is lesser because
of the increase in stiffness due to the infill. In all cases as the
grade of concrete increases, more improved performance
against deformation is seen. The deformation capacity of the
analyzed specimens was significantly plotted. The load
carrying capacity of the specimen having increased grade
having increased thickness is significantly increased. The
deflection is higher for beam having minimum thickness
similarly beam with high grade will having minimum
deflection level than beam having less grade of concrete will
deflect more.
Fig 18 Element Solution of the
beam

Fig 21 Load Vs Deflection Curve For 3mm thickness

Fig 19 Shear stress of the beam


Fig 22 Load Vs Deflection Curve For 4mm thickness

Fig 20 Cracks & Crushing

Fig 23 Load Vs Deflection Curve For 5mm Thickness

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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications


Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)

7. CONCLUSION
Based on the experimental and analytical study, following
conclusions were made:

Fig 24 Load Vs Deflection Curve For 6mm Thickness

The proposed finite element model shows the resistance to


deformation when concrete is used as infill material and the
deformation decreases when the grade of concrete and
thickness of box beam increases. The Concrete filled GFRP
box beam with 6mm thickness shows good response against
deformation. The load carrying capacity of box beam is
increased 3 times when compared to normal conventional
concrete. Increasing the grade of concrete will increase the
moment carrying capacity as well as having increased
stiffness up to 70 %.The stiffness of the concrete filled GFRP
box is nearly 4 to 7.5 times of conventional beam.The beam
having 6mm thickness showed higher stiffness ratio of
2.21%.The reduction in deflection of 6mm thick concrete
filled GFRP box section is about 58% when compared to
conventional beam. Deflections and stresses at the two point
of the beam along with initial and progressive cracking of the
finite element model compare well to experimental data
obtained from concrete filled GFRP box beams.The failure
mechanism of Concrete filled GFRP box beam is modelled
quite well using FEA, and the failure load is very close to the
failure load measured during experimental testing.

8. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Fig 25 Maximum Deformation of beams

I sincerely express my deepest sense of my thanks and


gratitude to my guide for his valuable suggestions, excellent
guidance and constant support I would like to express my
gratitude and sincere thanks to our Head of the Department
for providing all the facilities. I thank teaching and non
teaching staff members of Civil Engineering Department, all
my friends and parents who give constant support and
encouragement

9. REFERENCES
1. FerhatAydn, MehmetSarbyk, Investigation of flexural
behaviors of hybrid beams formed with GFRP box section
and concrete Journal of Construction and Building
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2. B. E. Belzer, M. J. Robinson, D. R. Fick, Composite
Action of Concrete -Filled Rectangular GFRP Tubes
Journal of Composites for Construction 32 (2013) 175 189

The load versus total deformation capacity of the concrete


filled GFRP box beam sections for different thickness is
shown in Figure 21,22,23 & 24.It can be seen that concrete
filled box beam exhibit less deformation irrespective of the
thickness. It is also observed that the deformation decreases
when the grade of infill increases. The stiffness of the
concrete filled GFRP box is nearly 4 to 7.5 times of
conventional beam. From the Figure 25 it is observed that the
deformation of beam with 6mm thickness shows higher
resistance to deformation than other beams .The reduction in
deflection of 6mm thick concrete filled GFRP box section is
about 58% when compared to conventional beam.

3. Huu-Tai Thai a, Brian Uya, Mahbub Khana, Zhong Tao ,


Fidelis Mashiri, Numerical modelling of concrete-filled
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5. Kyungsik Kima, Chai H. Yoob, Ultimate strengths of
steel rectangular box beams subjected to combined action
of bending and torsion Journal of Engineering Structures
30 (2008) 16771687

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International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications


Volume 4 Issue 3, 2015, ISSN-2319-7560 (Online)
6. Thuc Phuong Vo, Jaehong Lee, Flexuraltorsional
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